Truffle or bliss ball? Who even knows any more. These are dark and delicious, grown up and a little bit healthy.
I’ve been relying on chocolate a little too much lately. I mean, it’s been there for me in good times and bad, in sickness and in health. Chocolate is a reliable friend. But there can be too much of a good thing. Apparently.
I’ve been enjoying these balls (truffle or bliss ball?) all week in an effort to get my chocolate fix in a healthier way. Less sugar, more nutrition. Still chocolatey.
The flavours are a little bit interesting and definitely grown up. Orange and chocolate is a partnership as old as time, and strange as it may sound, a touch of rosemary and black pepper just adds a layer of fabulous complexity that’s hard to put your finger on.
I can’t take credit for this stunning flavour combo though. This recipe is inspired by Emma Galloway’s recipe for dark chocolate, orange and rosemary truffles from her cookbook My Darling Lemon Thyme, recipes from my real food kitchen. This book is one of my most used favourites, and with flavours like this you can probably see why. Emma’s one talented lady.
Here I’ve taken those flavours and used them in a more typical bliss ball mixture of dates, sunflower seeds and coconut. I added a sprinkle of cacao nibs for crunch, but these are definitely optional – the mixture works just as well without.
These healthy treats can really hurt the wallet if you let them. I cringe in horror a little every time I buy medjool dates. I *love* them, but their price tag is a bit scary. I simply can’t bring myself to use them in any recipe where they’ll be hitting a food processor as I’d rather enjoy their fat, luscious juiciness in its raw glory (perhaps with a smidge of almond butter).
In this recipe I’ve used regular dry dates, but soaked them in some warmed orange juice to soften them up a bit. This technique worked like a charm and is something I’ll be sure to repeat at other times medjool dates are called for.
Sunflower seeds instead of nuts brings the cost down a bit too.
Date, orange and rosemary balls
- 1 cup dried dates
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
- 1/4 cup cacao powder, or cocoa
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted if solid
- 1 tsp very finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Zest of one orange
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs, optional
- Roughly chop dates and put them in the bowl of your food processor.
- Warm orange juice and pour over dates. Stir to coat and leave them to sit for 15 minutes or so, or until most of the juice has been soaked up by the dates.
- Add everything else, except the cacao nibs, to the food processor and whizz until well combined.
- Tip the mixture into a bowl and stir through the cacao nibs (if using) or mix through with your hands. I wanted the nibs to remain whole to add a bit of crunch.
- Roll approximately 1 tbsp quantities into balls and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
- Makes 24 small balls.